‘Advani,Thackeray magic won’t work in 2014 polls’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/advani-thackeray-magic-wont-work-in-2014-polls/

‘Advani,Thackeray magic won’t work in 2014 polls’

Concerns at BJP-RSS meet that over 40% gen next voters want new leadership

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has indicated that it has to market and present new leadership to the generation next that constitutes 40 per cent of the vote bank in Maharashtra — implying that the political magic of L K Advani and late Bal Thackeray was not clicking with them.

At an internal meeting last week,top brass of state BJP and RSS debated over the leadership crisis,reservation to shifting strategies and challenges ahead of 2014 Parliament and assembly elections. The meet saw BJP leaders impressing upon the RSS that compared to Advani,Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was more acceptable to gen next because they can identify with the development in the state. Those born post-1995 are not emotive about the Emergency or Ram temple movement,they said.

A senior functionary said,“Meetings between RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Advani for repositioning in the party does not help in galvanising the organisation,which has a big challenge in terms of the 2014 polls. A divided house with parallel power centres cannot work. Advani — while playing the role of a guide — should leave it to Modi to decide the political strategies and campaign.”

Many indicated that unless leaders are given a free hand,results cannot be expected. In case of Maharashtra,some of the state leaders said Modi has generated a lot of enthusiasm. While others indicated that it was time to move away from the two biggies — Nitin Gadkari and Gopinath Munde — who are unwilling to let go of the remote control in state matters.

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Some leaders said projection of the much younger state president Devendra Fadnavis would help the organisation along with leader of opposition in assembly Eknath Khadse and opposition in state council Vinod Tawde.

Diverse views were expressed on the equation between BJP-Shiv Sena and MNS. Insiders said while it was true that Sena and BJP alliance was here to stay,they cannot lose sight of the fact that after Bal Thackeray’s death,MNS chief Raj Thackeray has struck a chord with people.

However,the dilemma for the BJP is manifold. Mumbai based leaders,who are rooting for BJP-MNS alliance to keep their seats intact,cannot explain where they stand without Sena’s organisational base outside Mumbai. In 2009,of the total 48 Lok Sabha seats,BJP won eight,Sena 15,Congress 17 and NCP eight. The MNS played spoilsport by facilitating the Congress to enhance its tally. In the state assembly,of the total 288 seats,the BJP won 47,Sena 46,Congress 82,NCP 62,MNS 13 and smaller parties,independents and others 38.

Also,when it comes to captivating the audience,Raj has emerged more powerful compared to Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. A political manager in the BJP admitted,“We are grappling with many issues whose solutions are not easy.” The core committee has decided to begin with the home front and improve coordination between BJP and RSS leaders and workers.